Category Archives: Life

My Current Thoughts On Life

Below are some random thoughts I’ve been having lately that I felt like writing down just because they’d been bouncing around in my head and I felt like letting them out.

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Lately I feel like I haven’t been taking good care of myself.

I’ve been so focused on trying to be a light for others that I feel like I’ve neglected being a light for myself.

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I want to do good for others. I want to change the world for the better. I want to be the best person I can be.

One of the reasons why is because, according to my parents, I almost died as result of my premature birth. I was born 3 months premature.

I see my life as a miracle, and I don’t want to waste it.

But I’m not perfect. To be blunt: I’ve fucked up.

There are times where I’ve become the kind of person I promised myself I never would be, and that has ended relationships I thought would last forever.

I believe there is a God.

Why?

Because: There’s a feeling within me that there is more to existence than what I can perceive with my senses. I don’t care if I’m seen as “illogical,” and I don’t care if I’m seen as “close-minded,” but: There is nothing anyone can do or say to persuade me that there is not something more to existence.

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I believe that God loves me.

But, at the same time, I believe I am undeserving of God’s love. One of the reasons why I believe I am undeserving is: I struggle with pride. And, if I think to myself I don’t deserve ___, than I won’t be as tempted to think Life owes me ___! I want it! I want it! I want it! like a spoiled brat.

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Joffrey Baratheon — Game of Thrones

What currently drives me to write is the fact that I think so much of the art by my fellow Christians is awful. For example:

I hate saying that. After all: We (Christians and non-Christians) are just doing what we can to be the best we can. But I’m not going to be dishonest about my feelings.

I know my own writing isn’t the greatest thing since sliced bread. I know I still have a long way to go before my writing is ready to be seen by the masses. But there has got to be better art made by Christians. And I want to do what I can to make “better art.”

I feel like a lot of my posts come across as pessimistic. And that troubles me. As a Catholic, I know I shouldn’t be like that — I shouldn’t be pessimistic. But if I were to say “I’m not pessimistic” than I would be lying. And I will not lie.

It felt good to let that out.

In conclusion:

The song that does the best job of conveying my current mood:

Celebrating Beauty: Max Comforts Kate

These last 2 months have been rough.

In February, I started my first job in over 3 years. I’m glad I’m working again, but it can be hard.

Last week, I decided to end a relationship with a friend after I came to the conclusion that communication had broken down and such a relationship was now doing me more harm than good. In short: Briefly, I became the kind of person I promised myself I would never be, and that cost me someone dear. I pray for her, wishing her the best. But I came to the conclusion that it is better for me if she not have such a prominent place in my life anymore.

My deadline for deciding whether or not to continue my college education is drawing near.

There has been at least one bright spot, though: I finished my first screenplay.

It’s a short film about how a young woman’s choice to go naked effects her search for meaning in her life after she returns home upon dropping out of college.

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The reason I say all of this is:

I am bringing back Celebrating Beauty.

Celebrating Beauty was a series of posts I wrote in December — I tried to write one every day — celebrating the beauty in the world.

I was sick of, and depressed by, the 24-hour news cycle of natural disasters, terrorist attacks, rapes, and murders, and wanted to do what I could to shine some light into the darkness.

After the rough time I’ve had lately, I’ve realized that I need beauty in my life now more than ever.

There won’t be any limit on Celebrating Beauty now — I won’t be doing it just for one month.

The first entry in the new Celebrating Beauty series:

Max Caulfield comforting a depressed Kate Marsh in DONTNOD Entertainment’s Life is Strange:

Thank you to Wild Woman Sisterhood for the photo.

Boundless Challenge: Week #11

OriginalPhoenix, I’m sorry I haven’t been keeping up with the Boundless Challenge.

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My last entry in the challenge was almost a month ago.

The point of the challenge is to write about how I “lived boundless” this week — to write about one example every week of me doing more than I thought I was capable of.

And, I really do hate to say it, but: Lately, my neighbor’s cat has been more boundless than me.

Since I used to have two dogs — they died after living long, happy lives — my neighbor’s calico cat — that hangs out around my house because I give her food — has, for the longest time, resisted actually coming into the house. She must still be able to smell the dogs. But, over the weeks she’s made progress.

Yesterday she jumped on my couch and stayed there for 10 minutes before running to the door and meow-ing to be let out.

The light is bad, but here she is:

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I call her “Kiki,”  thanks to Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989).

Why?

Because: Instead of delivering bread, Kiki the calico delivers “Aww!” Whenever I see her, I can’t help but go “Aww!” She always makes me do this:

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To get back on subject:

This week, I do have something to be Boundless about:

I finished the screenplay for my short film.

There will, undeniably, be more edits as I show it to people more knowledgeable about screenwriting than I. But, I’ve hit a wall: I feel like I’ve done everything for this screenplay that I, with my current knowledge of writing, can do. Hence why I consider it “finished.”

Have you ever felt like that? You write, and write, and write, and you get to a point where you look at what you’ve written and think I’ve done everything I can.

For weeks, my life has been relatively unexciting.

Just been trying to get more used to my job stocking shelves, since it’s the first job I’ve had in over 3 years. (School, family obligations, and soul-searching kept me busy during that time.)

When I’m not working, I’ve been listening to the Life is Strange soundtrack while I try and think of more ideas for screenplays…

…and spending time with my best friend. We hang out more frequently now, which I’m glad for. In my quest for awesomeness, I don’t want to neglect relationships.

What else has happened recently?

Well, thanks to Wild Woman Sisterhood

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…and some editing, I found a picture that captures what my short film is about:

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Regarding my short film:

I’ll write more on that later…

Thank you to TheOriginalPhoenix for inspiring me to get back to doing the Boundless Challenge.

Her fiery, phoenix-y awesomeness is just what I needed today.

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Why I’m Uneasy About “Thirteen Reasons Why”

So, earlier today I was made aware of Thirteen Reasons Why, the Netflix show based on the bestselling book about a girl — Hannah Baker — who leaves behind tape recordings explaining the 13 reasons why she decided to kill herself.

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I haven’t read the book yet.

I haven’t seen the show yet.

So, what I say next could be totally off, but:

It sounds like Hannah is blaming everyone except herself.

What I mean by that is:

Ultimately, it wasn’t any of these people who killed Hannah — it was Hannah herself. Hannah chose to die.

The premise — a young woman leaves behind tape recordings for people to listen to in order to guilt trip them for a choice she made of her own free will — comes across as Hannah refusing to accept responsibility for her actions, passing off the burden of responsibility to the people in her life by saying “I did this because of you.”

To which I respond: “No, Hannah. You didn’t. There was only one person’s hand on that knife, and it was yours.”

Why I Stopped Watching “Game of Thrones”

I’m a fan of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, the book series HBO’s Game of Thrones is based on.

I consider it superior to The Lord of the Rings.

It is the reason why I consider it superior to The Lord of the Rings that is also the reason why I made the choice to no longer watch Game of Thrones.

My reason why can be summed up by this quote:

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An example of “life in all its light and darkness” can be seen in book 2, A Clash of Kings, where a knight (Sandor Clegane) demands a song from a young maiden (Sansa Stark):

“I’ll have that song. Florian and Jonquil, you said.” His dagger was out, poised at her throat. “Sing, little bird. Sing for your little life.”
Her throat was dry and tight with fear, and every song she had ever known had fled from her mind. “Please don’t kill me,” she wanted to scream, “please don’t.” She could feel him twisting the point, pushing it into her throat, and she almost closed her eyes again, but then she remembered. It was not the song of Florian and Jonquil, but it was a song. Her voice sounded small and thin and tremulous in her ears.

“Gentle Mother, font of mercy,
save our sons from war, we pray,
stay the swords and stay the arrows,
let them know a better day.
Gentle Mother, strength of women,
help our daughters through this fray,
soothe the wrath and tame the fury,
teach us all a kinder way.”

Here is the same scene — Sandor confronting Sansa — in the show:

No demand for a song.

No hymn sung.

None of the “light” that George R.R. Martin speaks of.

Another example of Game of Throne‘s lack of “light”: The Red Wedding.

After insulting Walder Frey by marrying a woman who isn’t his daughter, Robb Stark goes to the wedding of his mother’s brother, Edmure — who is also marrying a Frey — in order to make amends. The thinking being Walder was pissed about one wedding not happening, so maybe making another happen will set everything right.

It doesn’t.

In the show, Robb’s pregnant wife is stabbed in the womb by one of Walder’s men in the middle of  the wedding feast, kicking off a massacre known as “The Red Wedding.”

In the book — book 3, A Storm of Swords — Robb’s wife isn’t with him at the wedding. He doesn’t want to insult Walder further by bringing the woman he married to the wedding that is supposed to make Walder not hate him anymore. So she stays behind. And she’s not pregnant yet, either.

So why have Robb’s now-pregnant wife at The Red Wedding if not for the shock value of seeing her get stabbed to death?

It is pornographic violence. i.e., Violence for the sake of violence.

The Red Wedding — in the book and in the show — is horrible.

But the show seems to amp up the horror for no other reason than “Because it can.”

There is a lot to admire about Game of Thrones.

The acting is good.

The special effects are good.

The sets, costumes, and props are good.

The music is good.

But the writing…

To sum up my issue with the writing in one sentence:

We have time to see Daenarys’ butt…

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…but we don’t have time to hear Septon Meribald’s “Broken Man” speech.

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How that speech ends:

“…my brothers were all going, and I would not be left behind. William said I could be his squire, though Will was no knight, only a potboy armed with a kitchen knife he’d stolen from an inn. He died upon the Stepstones, and never struck a blow. It was fever did for him, and for my brother Robin. Owen died from a mace that split his head apart, and his friend Jon Pox was hanged for rape.”
“The War of the Ninepenny Kings?” asked Hyle Hunt.
“So they called it, though I never saw a king, nor earned a penny. It was a war, though. That it was.”

My Journey As A Writer (So Far)

A month ago, I started writing a screenplay for a short film.

Earlier today, thinking more about why I was writing a short film, I had a revelation. Or, rather, I had the same revelation again and found that it was as true as ever:

I’m writing because I’m angry.

Why am I angry?

This is why:

You don’t have to look long to find examples of mediocre films made by Christians…

And, as a film-loving Christian — specifically: a film-loving Catholic — I wanted to do something about that.

I realized that it wasn’t enough to critique bad art — I had to create art too.

I couldn’t just curse the darkness — I had to light a candle.

Only now… I’ve realized that’s awful motivation for writing.

Why?

Because:

I can only be driven by negative emotions for so long before I crash.

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My problem is: I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of negativity.

I don’t spend as much time as I used to paying attention to mediocre art, but it’s still there. Sapping my vitality like a leech.

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And I’m sorry I’ve been away for a little while. Lately content on my blog has been scarce, and my involvement on other peoples’ blogs — Liking, commenting, or reblogging — has been non-existent.

I just haven’t been feeling myself lately.

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As always, just trying to figure out what to do with my life…

I want to be the kind of person who, standing in front of the pearly gates at the moment of their death, God says “Well done” to.**

But, I have a long, long way to go to be that kind of person.

**”Well done, good and faithful servant.”
~Matthew 25:21

Feminism’s Double Standard?

As a man, when discussing abortion I often hear words to the effect of “You’re not a woman, so what you think doesn’t matter.”

So, honest question:

Why is it considered OK for a woman to give her views on issues facing men, but not vice versa — it’s not OK for a man to give his views on women’s issues.

For example:

A woman, Kali Holloway, writing about what it means to be a man.

Specifically: Writing about masculinity.*

More specifically: Writing about toxic masculinity: Toxic masculinity is killing men: The roots of male trauma

My thoughts on this question:

Since “masculinity” — i.e., how men see themselves and their fellow man — is, as the meaning of the word implies, an issue that uniquely effects men, should a woman have a say in such an issue?

On the one hand: Yes. How men see themselves effects not just men, but women too. Specifically: It effects how men will treat women.

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On the other hand: No. A woman will never experience, in the same way that a man will experience, what it feels like to hear words like “Be a man.” i.e.: A woman will never be effected in the same way that a man will be by the issue of masculinity. (Hence why I said that masculinity is an issue that “uniquely effects” men.)

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Conclusion:

So, if it’s OK for a woman to give her views on, for lack of a better term, “man subjects” like the question of “What does it mean to be masculine?” since masculinity effects not just men but women too, than how is it not OK for men to talk about “women subjects” like, for example, abortion, since the death of offspring does effect men too by, for example, denying a man the opportunity to be a father.

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Finding Nemo (2003)

*Masculinity: Possession of the qualities traditionally associated with men.